Following the Paleo Diet with Diabetes
Following the Paleolithic, or Paleo, diet is no more difficult than following a traditional diabetes diet, unless you consider the absence of some food options a difficulty.
A strict Paleo diet excludes dairy products, grains, legumes, processed oils and refined sugar – foods that were unavailable to humans prior to domestication of animals and crop cultivation. Advocates of the Paleo diet believe that humans have not yet genetically evolved to properly process the foods introduced to our bodies with the advent of agriculture.
The Paleo diet includes the foods our hunter-gatherer predecessors consumed: fish, lean meat, fruits, vegetables, roots, eggs, nuts and healthy oils (e.g., olive, flaxseed, coconut).
Paleo and Diabetes
Research about the effects of the Paleo diet on those with type 2 diabetes includes generally small, short-term studies. However, the diabetic study participants generally reduced their A1Cs, diastolic blood pressure, body mass index, weight and waist circumference. The evidence suggests that hunter-gatherer foods improve glucose tolerance, lower insulin secretion and raise insulin sensitivity.
Investigators suspect the weight loss associated with the Paleo diet indicates meals high in protein, fruits and veggies are more satiating than a typical diabetes diet, so fewer calories are consumed.
What people on the Paleo diet must watch out for are deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D in the absence of dairy products, and ingesting increased environmental toxins from eating more fish.
Most significant for diabetics is that a diet based on protein and fat Continue reading